Filipinos go online for Day of the Dead
A virtual cemetery has opened for All Saints' Day
ucanews.com reporter, Manila
October 31, 2012
It is also a public holiday and, traditionally, Filipino families spend a night or two in the cemetery near their relatives’ tombs, playing card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
But what about the large diaspora of Filipinos who are too far away to visit their loved ones’ resting places?
Enter the internet.
On Tuesday, the country’s bishops reactivated a virtual cemetery: Undas Online.
The website, introduced last year, has a “Prayer Request” button where visitors can list the names of the dead they want to pray for. With another click, they can also make a visit to the virtual cemetery, where they can spend time in quiet reflection. The site also offers suitable prayers to be recited there.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, media office director of the bishops' conference, said the service is for Filipinos who work abroad and for them to feel that they are also in the cemetery on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
"That’s the purpose of the photos of the cemetery, so that our overseas workers can pray for their departed loved ones by just looking at the photos," he said.
The service received 20,000 requests and garnered "positive feedback" last year from Filipinos around the world, he added.
Also included on the site are podcasts and catechesis on the liturgical meaning of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Msgr. Quitorio, however, said Filipinos in the country are still encouraged to visit cemeteries, oratories and churches to physically visit the tombs of their dear departed.
Beware bogus priests, bishop says
Annual Sant'Egidio community event helps homeless Muslims in Jakarta
Christian prisoners are singled out for more abuse than others, say activists
Report is politically motivated as the government faces criticism for failing to protect religious minorities, say activists
Reporters should avoid writing news that will worsen conflicts, bishops' conference official says
Philippine Catholic Church leaders respond to pope's comments on seeking forgiveness for the way gay people are treated